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No. 103 Squadron began the war as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force, making it one of the first squadrons to be sent to France. The Fairey Battle squadrons suffered very heavy loses during the Battle of France. Six days after the German invasion, No.103 Squadron was forced to abandon its advanced bases and retreat back into the centre of France. Once there the squadron had to take over the surviving aircraft of No.218 Squadron to bring its strength back up to 31 aircraft. By early June only sixteen of those aircraft were left, and only half of the sixteen escaped back to Britain at the end of the campaign.
The squadron reequipped with the Battle, using it against the German invasion barges during the autumn of 1940. The Vickers Wellington arrived in October 1940, and the squadron became a night bomber unit, carrying out that role for the rest of the war, spending nearly two years operating the Wellington and three the Avro Lancaster.
At the end of the war the squadron was renumbered as No. 57 Squadron.
August 1938-October 1940: Fairey Battle Mk.I
October 1940-July 1942: Vickers Wellington Mk.IC
July-November 1942: Handley Page Halifax Mk.II
November 1942-November 1945: Avro Lancester I and III
1 April 1939-2 September 1939: Benson
2 September-28 November 1939: Challerange (France)
28 November 1939-15 February 1940: Plivot
15 February-16 May 1940: Betheniville
16 May-4 June 1940: Rheges/ St. Lucien Ferme
4-14 June 1940: Ozouer-le-Doyen
14-15 June 1940: Souge
15-16 June 1940: Abingdon (air contingent only)
16 June-3 July 1940: Honington
3 July 1940-11 July 1941: Newton
11 July 1941-26 November 1945: Elsham Wolds
Squadron Codes: PM
Group and Duty
26 September 1939: Bomber squadron with No. 1 Group, 74 Wing, Advanced Air Striking Force
From July 1942: Bomber squadron with No. 1 Group
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